The Massachusetts Portal

Massachusetts (/ˌmæsəˈsɪts/ (audio speaker iconlisten), /-zɪts/), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Maine to the east, Connecticut to the southwest and Rhode Island to the southeast, New Hampshire to the northeast, Vermont to the northwest, and New York to the west. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, which is also the most populous city in New England. It is home to the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history, academia, and industry. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance, and maritime trade.

The entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts has played a powerful scientific, commercial, and cultural role in the history of the United States. Before the American Civil War, Massachusetts was a center for the abolitionist, temperance, and transcendentalist movements. In the late 19th century, the sports of basketball and volleyball were invented in the western Massachusetts cities of Springfield and Holyoke, respectively. In 2004, Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legally recognize same-sex marriage as a result of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health. Many prominent American political dynasties have hailed from the state, including the Adams and Kennedy families. Harvard University in Cambridge is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, with the largest financial endowment of any university, and Harvard Law School has educated a contemporaneous majority of Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. Kendall Square in Cambridge has been called "the most innovative square mile on the planet", in reference to the high concentration of entrepreneurial start-ups and quality of innovation which have emerged in the vicinity of the square since 2010. Both Harvard and MIT, also in Cambridge, are perennially ranked as either the most or among the most highly regarded academic institutions in the world. Massachusetts residents have been described by the World Population Review as having the highest average IQ of all U.S. states, exceeding 104, and the state's public-school students place among the top tier in the world in academic performance. The state has been ranked as one of the top states in the United States for citizens to live in, as well as one of the most expensive. (Full article...)

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  • The black-capped chickadee is the state bird of Massachusetts.
    The black-capped chickadee is the state bird of Massachusetts.
  • Image 2The Boston Red Sox are a Major League Baseball (MLB) team based in Boston, Massachusetts. From 1912 to the present, the Red Sox have played in Fenway Park. The "Red Sox" name originates from the iconic uniform feature. They are sometimes nicknamed the "BoSox", a combination of "Boston" and "Sox" (as opposed to the "ChiSox"), the "Crimson Hose", and "the Olde Towne Team". Most fans simply refer to them as the Sox.One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Boston in 1901. They were a dominant team in the early 20th century, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first World Series in 1903. They won four more championships by 1918, and then went into one of the longest championship droughts in baseball history. Many attributed the phenomenon to the "Curse of the Bambino" said to have been caused by the trade of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1920. The drought was ended and the "curse" reversed in 2004, when the team won their sixth World Series championship. Championships in 2007 and 2013 followed. Every home game from May 15, 2003, through April 10, 2013, was sold out—a span of 820 games over nearly ten years. The team most recently won the World Series in 2018, the ninth championship in franchise history. (Full article...)
    BostonRedSox CapLogo.svg

    The Boston Red Sox are a Major League Baseball (MLB) team based in Boston, Massachusetts. From 1912 to the present, the Red Sox have played in Fenway Park. The "Red Sox" name originates from the iconic uniform feature. They are sometimes nicknamed the "BoSox", a combination of "Boston" and "Sox" (as opposed to the "ChiSox"), the "Crimson Hose", and "the Olde Towne Team". Most fans simply refer to them as the Sox.

    One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Boston in 1901. They were a dominant team in the early 20th century, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first World Series in 1903. They won four more championships by 1918, and then went into one of the longest championship droughts in baseball history. Many attributed the phenomenon to the "Curse of the Bambino" said to have been caused by the trade of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1920. The drought was ended and the "curse" reversed in 2004, when the team won their sixth World Series championship. Championships in 2007 and 2013 followed. Every home game from May 15, 2003, through April 10, 2013, was sold out—a span of 820 games over nearly ten years. The team most recently won the World Series in 2018, the ninth championship in franchise history. (Full article...)
  • The front entrance to Boston Latin School on Avenue Louis Pasteur
    The front entrance to Boston Latin School on Avenue Louis Pasteur
  • Skyline of Boston's Back Bay
    Skyline of Boston's Back Bay
  • Team photograph of the 1890 Boston Reds
    Team photograph of the 1890 Boston Reds
  • Map depicting lines of charters and grants for Massachusetts-related colonies and provinces
    Map depicting lines of charters and grants for Massachusetts-related colonies and provinces
  • Billy Conigliaro was the first player ever drafted by the Boston Red Sox, selected in the first round of the 1965 MLB draft. An outfielder, he played in MLB from 1969 through 1973.
    Billy Conigliaro was the first player ever drafted by the Boston Red Sox, selected in the first round of the 1965 MLB draft. An outfielder, he played in MLB from 1969 through 1973.
  • Image 8The Boston Celtics are an American professional basketball team based in Boston. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team is owned by Wyc Grousbeck  with Brad Stevens as the general manager. Founded in 1946, their 17 NBA championships are the most for any NBA franchise, and their eight consecutive NBA championships from 1959 to 1966 represent the longest consecutive championship winning streak of any North American professional sports team to date. They play their home games in the TD Garden.There have been 18 head coaches for the Boston Celtics franchise. The Celtics won their first NBA championship in the 1957 NBA Finals under the coaching of Red Auerbach. Auerbach is the franchise's all-time leader in the number of regular-season and playoff wins as a coach. Auerbach and Bill Fitch were included in the Top 10 Coaches in NBA history. Fitch was the 1979–80 NBA Coach of the Year and also led the Celtics to a championship in 1981. Auerbach led the Celtics to nine championships, in 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, and 1966. He was also the 1965–66 Coach of the Year. K.C. Jones led the Celtics to two championships, in 1984 and 1986. Alvin Julian, Auerbach, Tom Heinsohn, Fitch and Rick Pitino have earned induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame as coaches. (Full article...)
    The Boston Celtics are an American professional basketball team based in Boston. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team is owned by Wyc Grousbeck with Brad Stevens as the general manager. Founded in 1946, their 17 NBA championships are the most for any NBA franchise, and their eight consecutive NBA championships from 1959 to 1966 represent the longest consecutive championship winning streak of any North American professional sports team to date. They play their home games in the TD Garden.

    There have been 18 head coaches for the Boston Celtics franchise. The Celtics won their first NBA championship in the 1957 NBA Finals under the coaching of Red Auerbach. Auerbach is the franchise's all-time leader in the number of regular-season and playoff wins as a coach. Auerbach and Bill Fitch were included in the Top 10 Coaches in NBA history. Fitch was the 1979–80 NBA Coach of the Year and also led the Celtics to a championship in 1981. Auerbach led the Celtics to nine championships, in 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, and 1966. He was also the 1965–66 Coach of the Year. K.C. Jones led the Celtics to two championships, in 1984 and 1986. Alvin Julian, Auerbach, Tom Heinsohn, Fitch and Rick Pitino have earned induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame as coaches. (Full article...)
  • From left to right: Robbie Merrill, Sully Erna, Criss Angel (not a band member), Shannon Larkin, Tony Rombola
    From left to right: Robbie Merrill, Sully Erna, Criss Angel (not a band member), Shannon Larkin, Tony Rombola
  • Image 11The U.S. state of Massachusetts has 14 counties, though eight of these fourteen county governments were abolished between 1997 and 2000. The counties in the southeastern portion of the state retain county-level local government (Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Norfolk, Plymouth) or, in one case, (Nantucket County) consolidated city-county government. Vestigial judicial and law enforcement districts still follow county boundaries even in the counties whose county-level government has been disestablished, and the counties are still generally recognized as geographic entities if not political ones. Three counties (Hampshire, Barnstable, and Franklin) have formed new county regional compacts to serve as a form of regional governance.Mismanagement of Middlesex County's public hospital in the mid-1990s left that county on the brink of insolvency, and in 1997 the Massachusetts legislature stepped in by assuming all assets and obligations of the county.  The government of Middlesex County was officially abolished on July 11, 1997.  Later that year, the Franklin County Commission voted itself out of existence.  The law abolishing Middlesex County also provided for the elimination of Hampden County and Worcester County on July 1, 1998.  This law was later amended to abolish Hampshire County on January 1, 1999; Essex County and Suffolk County on July 1 of that same year; and Berkshire County on July 1, 2000. Chapter 34B of the Massachusetts General Laws allows other counties either to abolish themselves, or to reorganize as a "regional council of governments", as Hampshire and Franklin Counties have done. The governments of Bristol, Plymouth, and Norfolk Counties remain substantially unchanged. Barnstable and Dukes Counties have adopted modern county charters, enabling them to act as efficient regional governments.  Dukes County in particular has a strong regional planning agency known as the Martha's Vineyard Commission. (Full article...)
    The U.S. state of Massachusetts has 14 counties, though eight of these fourteen county governments were abolished between 1997 and 2000. The counties in the southeastern portion of the state retain county-level local government (Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Norfolk, Plymouth) or, in one case, (Nantucket County) consolidated city-county government. Vestigial judicial and law enforcement districts still follow county boundaries even in the counties whose county-level government has been disestablished, and the counties are still generally recognized as geographic entities if not political ones. Three counties (Hampshire, Barnstable, and Franklin) have formed new county regional compacts to serve as a form of regional governance.

    Mismanagement of Middlesex County's public hospital in the mid-1990s left that county on the brink of insolvency, and in 1997 the Massachusetts legislature stepped in by assuming all assets and obligations of the county. The government of Middlesex County was officially abolished on July 11, 1997. Later that year, the Franklin County Commission voted itself out of existence. The law abolishing Middlesex County also provided for the elimination of Hampden County and Worcester County on July 1, 1998. This law was later amended to abolish Hampshire County on January 1, 1999; Essex County and Suffolk County on July 1 of that same year; and Berkshire County on July 1, 2000. Chapter 34B of the Massachusetts General Laws allows other counties either to abolish themselves, or to reorganize as a "regional council of governments", as Hampshire and Franklin Counties have done. The governments of Bristol, Plymouth, and Norfolk Counties remain substantially unchanged. Barnstable and Dukes Counties have adopted modern county charters, enabling them to act as efficient regional governments. Dukes County in particular has a strong regional planning agency known as the Martha's Vineyard Commission. (Full article...)

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